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Like eating at the bar instead of the booth - 50%

autothrall, February 16th, 2010

Although the cover to Iron Maiden Live!! + One is unfamiliar and for all intents and purposes seems to resemble a bootleg, it was actually an official release for Japan, and given an extended release (with bonus tracks) in the Greek territory a few years later. This is a review for the Japanese edition, which is about as easy to track down these days as a virgin named Mary, so you may have to let your fingers do the walking to experience it. But, as this is not the de facto Paul Di'anno live recording, and the studio track is one you can hear elsewhere, it's hardly worth the trouble...

As the blatant title would infer, this features a few live tracks, and a single bonus studio track. "Sanctuary" is taken from the single of the same name (and a bonus track on the re-issue of the debut Iron Maiden), sort of a Maiden equivalent to a "Born to Be Wild", lacking some of the intricacies of their other, early material, but still featuring great bass and a nice melodic break later in the track. After a brief banter, they break into "Phantom of the Opera" from the debut, which sounds extremely good here, a burst of excessive force which could leave the majority of other NWOBHM upstarts in the dust. "Drifter" is likewise entertaining, quite a lot like "Sanctuary" in tone but with that killer opening guitar phrase. "Women in Uniform" is the studio track, a cover of the Skyhooks original, which has appeared in several places, including its own single, a fun melodic rocker with some goofy lyrics that feel perhaps a little too rock, especially with Di'anno's often overbearing edge.

And that's all there is to it. I would imagine a collector would be interested in owning both versions of this EP, but if you're actually hunting it down for content purposes, the Greek version might be the better value, as it includes live versions of "Prowler", "Running Free", "remember Tomorrow", "Innocent Exile", and "I've Got the Fire". Most of these are included with the extended fan version of the Maiden Japan EP, though, and if you're seeking the ultimate live session between Paul Di'anno and his alma matter, track that down instead. Live!! + One is not unpleasant, it's just irrelevant.


Fun little EP - 81%

Mungo, April 21st, 2007

This EP was released in the same year as Maiden's debut, and so it contains two songs off that ('Sanctuary' and 'Phantom of the Opera'), the song 'Drifter' which would appear as a studio recording on 'Killers', and 'Women in Uniform' from the previously released single of the same name.

The performances on the live recordings are fairly good and sound a lot like in the studio. Paul Di'Anno's voice is in top form and he hits every note perfectly, while the two guitarists play every riff to perfection and improvise on the soloing. The drums are competent as is the bass. While they have too long a silence in the middle of Sanctuary and they extend the soft part in Drifter for far too long, they still play to perfection most of the time.

The extra studio track, Women in Uniform, is a fun rocker which is fairly typical of the NWOBHM movement. It has some great riffing combined with catchy choruses. It does get a bit repetitive but overall it's a good track.

As for the production, it brings the EP down a bit. While this is not as prominent on the studio recording, it affects the live recordings to some degree. The sound is muffled and doesn't really capture the live atmosphere that well. Crowd noise is kept to a minimum, which can either be a good or bad thing depending on preference. I myself don't mind it much, so that aspect is fine. The mix is similar to what was seen on Killers, with all instruments being heard clearly.

If you happen to stumble across this (which would be unlikely nowadays) I would definitely recommend purchasing it. It shows a young energetic band fresh off the release of their debut album tearing it up in a small club with an energetic crowd. A fun little EP from one of the masters of the NWOBHM movement.